ELECTRICITY

Consumer Trust welcomes Meridian bill change

Friday 27 April 2012, 8:15PM
By TextWrite
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KERIKERI

The Top Energy Consumer Trust, the body that holds the shares in Far North electricity generator and lines network operator Top Energy on behalf of the region’s power consumers, has welcomed moves by Meridian Energy to itemise the cost of the different elements that comprise their monthly power bills.

In February the Trust wrote an open letter to the CEO of the Electricity Authority, Carl Hansen, asking the Authority to look at making it compulsory for electricity retailers to break down the cost of bills in a way that was easily understood by electricity bill payers. In particular, it said, lines or network charges should be separated from the cost of generation and the retailers’ own operating costs and profit margins.

“We want consumers to be able to identify what the drivers of price increases are, and where these increases are coming from,” said Robin Shepherd, Chairman of the Top Energy Consumer Trust.

Shepherd said this was an issue that many power trusts around the country had been requesting government, through its various agencies, to address for many years.

Meridian Energy has now started issuing its monthly bills with the network charges shown separately.

“If we have been influential in any way in lifting the profile of this issue, we are very happy to have done so,” Shepherd said.

“Meridian is to be commended for taking this step.  We can only hope that the remaining retailers see that their customers want this information and that it is to their commercial advantage to provide it.”